Presented in the form of a feverish love dream, 1001 Nights (based on Amano`s book of artwork) is the first performance of the groundbreaking "Filmharmonic" series, which presents new orchestral works by film composers in tandem with short films made by A-list directors. Nights is the series's only animated work, and plans originally called for the film to be completely computer animated.
Story : The story for this anime will be hard for a lot of people to pick up on because it relies entirely on visuals. If you like to analyze things, go for it. I just took two classes for analyzing art and literature, so I enjoyed it easily. If you find yourself going "WTF?" over the simplest of symbolism, I don't recommend you watching this one. You will be vastly confused. The fact that it requires more thinking than the average anime and the story itself is nothing amazingly original has prompted me to give it a 6.
Art : Now, this is where 1001 Nights seems to lose a lot of people. The art is very abstract and nothing like your typical anime. This anime mixes 3-D and 2-D art rather well, but most of the art is 2-D. It has a very sketchy look to it; like a colored pencil drawing. It gets a 9 because, to be very honest, I love this kind of art. If they had botched the mixture of 3-D and 2-D, I'd probably have been extremely strict on this section and given it a 5, but it works together.
Sound : Amazing. If you like orchestral music, this is going to be the shit for you, honestly. There is only one instance of voice acting at the very beginning, and I have to say that this is very well done, too. The moment I heard this woman's voice and the dialogue I was drawn straight into this one. I was like, "This is gonna be awesome." So, even though it's only used once, the dialogue and voice acting are a great hook in this anime. Therefore, 10.
Character : These characters serve their purpose very well. If you like to get into the mind of a character, understand everything about them, their actions, and their motivations, don't touch this. This anime is all about the emotions of these two lovers. You're not invited into the inner corridors of their mind. If, on the other hand, you are enraptured with emotions, these characters are teeming with it. Desire, longing, sorrow; it's all there despite the somewhat flat way in which they're expressed. This is why 1001 Nights gets a 7 on characters. The artistic representation of the character's emotions are somewhat hindered by the stylized form of art used on them.
Enjoyment : I, personally, enjoyed this anime greatly. It pulled me in and kept me enraptured for 23 whole minutes with absolutely no dialogue or direct plot/action. That's pretty good for someone of my attention span. So, it gets a 9.
Overall : It reminds me of Fantasia. If you like fantasia, take a look at this. It's like a Japanese, sex-centered Fantasia. X3 But really, it's not an anime for everyone. It has it's audience, and you'll just have to watch it to find out if you're a part of that audience. If you like artsy things, analyzing, symbolism, abstract artwork, or those old serious cartoons, you'll like this. I did, and that's why Overall it gets a 9 on my list.read more
This is an abstract art music video, not a piece of narrative fiction, so don't be expecting ninja vampires going to high school and fighting crime. That MAL makes you rate "story" or "character" is a bit silly, since that's not the point here. The characters and setting are an excuse for beautiful pictures. I enjoyed this as a twenty minute piece of visual art set to lush orchestration. The premise is an amorous dream shared by two Arabian nobles, and every image bleeds together quite organically into the next. There is no special meaning or message to discern. It is to be enjoyed for what it is. This is the sort of thing you'll love if you're in a dreamlike state, sober or otherwise. Or if you're an art student. This was designed for a visual art audience, not a typical anime audience, so be mindful of that before you watch.
Amano (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D) is able to express a great deal with very simple lines, and his use of colour is dazzling. A similar project (but slightly more narrative) is Angel's Egg, which I'd recommend to anyone who enjoyed the style of art and the concept, but would appreciate a bit more of a story.read more
Although 1,001 Nights is really quite beautiful, is is not what most people expect when they think of anime. There is no dialogue at all and, if you are not familiar with the story of a concubine who kept the sultan from killing her as he had all the other women he slept with by transfixing him with fascinating story every night, it will make no sense to you whatsoever. Some of the tales spun over the 1001 nights include Alibaba and the 40 thieves, Aladdin's Magic Lamp, many more. At just short of 30 minutes, this festival of stylistic hand drawn and early CG animation dancing in a dream to full philharmonic music is targeted at the connoisseur of animation. If you are turned off by symbolism and the surreal, 1001 Nights is not for you. If you are intrigued by the unique, it is definitely worth a half hour.read more
I was amazed at how many modern art references are included! All the "abstractness" is linked to the fact they've put into this amazing and beautiful animation references to Picabia, Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse... and many references to surrealism and symbolism too.
I believe that for the audience it was meant for it was very appealing. It was projected along a representation of the Los Angeles Philarmonic orchestra. It can be appreciated for the "uniqueness" of the animation, how well the music fits, but what a pearl to discover so many aesthetic winks!
Many of the reviewers here seem to have watched it from an "anime" point of view. But it is an art animation much different from usual eastern traditions or Japanese productions. Indeed, some of the artist are easterners but it was first meant for an audience of westerners. Of course, this means that it can't be considered the same as mainstream Japanese aesthetics. But, can't either be as a mainstream cartoon. It is a pure art creation. It does not have the same purpose as an entertaining action packed plot centered anime. And to those who criticizes the lack of action or plot... I wonder why even write such uncalled for comments.
Amano seems to be very close to western art tradition. And note that most of the production team is American.
The plot do exists but it is meant to emphasizes the aesthetic beauty of the animation. And by animation I do not mean the visual aspect only! On the contrary, the music is a full part of the OVA! Most of the art is indeed 2D but it is a short movie so you can't take the soundtrack out of the mix. There are no dialogues but they are unnecessary for it is a kind of lyrical and oneiric visual tale we're shown. The pact between the audience and the film lies in the fact that you need to fully jump into its aestheticism and watch its beauty without questioning the choices the directors made. You try to adapt to the world you are presented into and understand quickly enough that what might have been weird anywhere else has it's purpose in this dream-like tale. I shouldn't even add the "-like" because, as stated by the narrator we are exhorted to dream.
Regarding the original work of 1001 nights I think they made the point pretty clear: it is a mere fragment of the original tales. The justification regarding the story is very well done. It doesn't leave any opening to criticism regarding the plot. The tales are all bond together and once you start one, many others start within. The original book playing with the mise-en-abyme there's no reason to complain about how there are not enough stories. It is a complete story with no loose-hole to be found. A truly great job!read more